On Monday, a wave of anti-government protests swept through multiple cities in Russia, with people gathering in more than 200 cities to protest political corruption and stagnation. According to the New York Times, many of the demonstrators were teenagers who’ve never known a Russia that hasn’t been governed by Vladimir Putin.
“I am here for my future,” one 22-year-old protester, who chose to remain anonymous, told the paper. And many on social media have pointed out that the majority of protesters appear to be teenagers, many of them teenage girls.
Russian authorities did their best to restrict protests, arresting opposition leader Aleksei Navalny Monday morning and attempting to sideline a Moscow protest to a secondary avenue, rather than the city’s main street. According to the Times, police issued a statement warning that officers would stop “any threat to public order” that day. And the social-media team behind Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the founder of Open Russia, reported that a number of schools had threatened to expel students who attended the protests.
Nevertheless, Navalny told his followers that it was worth risking jail time — one of his mantras has become “they can’t put everyone in prison.”